08/11/2019    The storm joins my porch-perch rocker rest, builds in the trees, banks between houses, and carries lightning across the yards.  Cold front chills, the day-long harbinger sneaking in from the northwest, chases humidity.  My back-and-forth dopplers into an intensifying symphony as the first rain comes charging onto roofs, but just a pitter-pat ready to stretch into a calamitous run.  An over-heated city-scape refreshes into earth scents and my mind wanders, becomes one with a farm youth night filled with cornstalks crinkling in gusts, accepting the pelting plops.  Oaks dip and bend further now, the once impending front opens into quick thunder pounds that announce arrival.  The pre-fall frolic mists my nook, my cushioned safe spot teased by strobes and stirring shadows dancing with a creeping crescendo. 

Grass will be greener tomorrow.  Petunias will perk, reds and violets bold against a grey sunrise.  Chipmunks will hold a cleaner, dust free fur-sheen from scampers out of downspouts holding rain-remnant pools.  Shake shake shake – puff and run little fellows.  Find wind-carried treats with young rabbits poking from bushes, with robins tugging worms brought up from once dry grasses.  My thoughts brushstroke, bring the next unsure hours vividly to life, a mind’s eye acceptance of current cacophony calming into laden limbs resting, enjoying peace brought with post-storm dead calm, clinging damp, and little splitter-splats leaf dropped through the stirs of cars onto windshields.  This concrete still holds warmth, snuggles bare feet as night quiets, slips softly into silence, seeps rains’ fading shrink into serene, distant flashes – flickers – cloud hollow kerosene lamps with wicks dim, dimmer, done. 

Mosquitos come now.  A few fireflies flit – an insistent fly likes my shin, but I find little pleasure in its light legged hair tickles and too quick to get insistence.  “Most of it must ‘uv missed us” muses through the mental menagerie. “Guess I’ll capture this bit on a page – something about an August rain carrying ripening smells…”  And so, too, the think comes, the Spirit pokes, encourages — something for me to find as the first, too-long-outside itch on that shin lets me know more than a pesky fly buzzed about.  I spend more time now, be it on mower or porch, behind the wheel or abed, observing change.  Today, the sky moved solid blue into building cumulous rolls of greyish-white promise of accurate weather-casting.  Sunshine struggled, streamed through, finally gave in as it colorlessly set behind the distant firs.  So much sky life, so much scurry hurry all around – tail chasing better and hoping just one day to “catch a break” and be able to “take it easy.”  Troubles, cancers, strokes, heart issues, laid-off, payments, school needs – never ending cumulous greys invading into daily wearinesses of blues butting each inhale. 

Peace – of mind – fails to come easily.  God is “the Way, the Truth, and the Light.”  Even in the “Where in this green grungy earth is He?” moments, in the “I can’t take another step” exhaustion, just look, SEE Him.  We have a cup of water, just over at the sink or from the (‘OH MY’) hose.  He’s there, in the wood cut to frame that window, in the job.  He’s there when hands fold and fears’ tears need reassurance, hope – grace.  A doctor’s hand.  “Life is Hell” only occurs in a life without God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  And the trinity lives in this creation given us, to provide for us, to be cherished by us – to give life. 

I hold this moment, the wetting cheek and slight shiver so very welcome here, here on the porch as I rock, rock wrapped in the years as time stibbles through the downspouts.  I’ll breathe a while longer out here, near the lawn and the shadows, nearer my God.  I offer peace the other rocker and we’ll sit together.  Pay no attention to the bugs.   submitted by Dave Smith